Partial building collapse near Miami

By Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Veronica Rocha, Fernando Alfonso III and Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Updated 7:09 AM ET, Fri June 25, 2021
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12:02 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Surveillance video from inside the building shows the moment of partial collapse 

From CNN’s Francesca Giuliani-Hoffman

A 13-second video from Rosie Santana shows a motion-sensor camera set up inside her family’s two-bedroom condo on the 7th floor of the building, Unit 711.

Santana told CNN, “That's our apartment, my family apartment. I actually left for the weekend yesterday and I always set up a camera when I leave, so that was the footage I got. It only records when it detects movement so... it detected movement, it recorded that piece, and then it lost connection.” 

Santana said that their apartment “was one of the ones that collapsed, like... it's just dust, there's no hope for it basically.” 

Santana added that “It's basically a vacation home that we use, but I've been there for the past 3 weeks and I just happened to leave yesterday.”

12:01 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

A building near Miami partially collapsed overnight. Here's the latest on the rescue operations.

From CNN's Alyssa Kraus

Part of a residential building collapsed early this morning in the South Florida community of Surfside. The building – located at 8777 Collins Avenue – is a few miles north of Miami Beach.

If you're just reading in now, here's what we know so far about the disaster and the serach operations:

  • What happened: The collapse killed at least one person, officials said. Two people have been pulled from the rubble and 35 others have been evacuated from standing portions of the building since the collapse happened around 1:30 a.m., Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Ray Jadallah said. The mayor of Miami-Dade county, Daniella Levine Cava, said the building is 12 stories and has more than 130 units.
  • Paused search efforts: An intense search and rescue effort began shortly after 2 a.m. ET, according to Surfside Mayor Charles W. Burkett. But currently, a strong storm with gusty winds and lightning has put the search and rescue effort in "pause mode,” according to Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman.
  • About the unaccounted: Heyman said, as of right now, 51 people who were assumed to have been living in the partially collapsed part of the building have not been accounted for. However, officials are uncertain if all 51 people were in the building at the time of its collapse.
  • About the building: The building, which was built in the 1980s, was undergoing roof work, Burkett said, but he added that it's unknown whether this was a factor in the collapse, Burkett said.
  • If you're looking for a loved one: A family reunification center, located at 9301 Collins Avenue, has been set up for anyone looking for missing people, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said. Emergency officials are also asking people to call 305-614-1819 if they have relatives who are unaccounted for.
11:53 a.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Residents of collapsed building asked to complete wellness check form to help locate residents

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

In an effort to ensure all tenants are accounted for, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is asking residents of the collapsed building to fill out a wellness check form. 

The form asks residents for their name, contact information, unit number, and whether or not everyone in the unit has been accounted for.

12:02 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

See photos from the building collapse near Miami

A 12-story residential building partially collapsed Thursday in the South Florida community of Surfside, sparking an intense search-and-rescue effort.

Here's a look at some of the photos from the scene:

A massive pile of rubble is next to the multistory residential building that partially collapsed Thursday in Surfside, Florida, a few miles north of Miami Beach.
A massive pile of rubble is next to the multistory residential building that partially collapsed Thursday in Surfside, Florida, a few miles north of Miami Beach. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue/SplashNews/Newscom

A man reacts as he waits for information Thursday following the partial building collapse.
A man reacts as he waits for information Thursday following the partial building collapse. Wilfredo Lee/AP

Police stand guard near the scene on Thursday.
Police stand guard near the scene on Thursday. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

More than 80 rescue units responded to the scene at 8777 Collins Avenue, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said.
More than 80 rescue units responded to the scene at 8777 Collins Avenue, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

A portion of the multistory building crumbled to the ground.
A portion of the multistory building crumbled to the ground. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

See more photos from the collapse here.

1:47 p.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue task force, known for international disaster response, will help with hometown collapse

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Wilfredo Lee/AP
Wilfredo Lee/AP

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's Urban Search and Rescue team, known as Florida Task Force 1 (FL-TF1), responded to their "first hometown situation" involving a collapse, Miami Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman told CNN. 

FL-TF1 is an international search and rescue team that has responded to structural collapses, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods for 36 years, the MDFR website says.  

Rescue teams from multiple agencies "have gone entirely through the structure...checking for occupancy and anybody trapped," said Heyman. 

Physical search and rescue operations in "collapsed structures, flooded areas and transportation accident scenes" are a specialty of FL-TF1, according to its department website.  

During the early years of FL-TF1, "assistance was provided to the countries of Mexico, Philippines and Soviet Armenia," said MDFR. To date, crews have responded to a variety of disasters, including the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

"FL-TF1 is comprised mostly of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel and other outside specialists as needed," said the agency's website. 

"The Task Force is supported by a comprehensive equipment cache totaling 50,000 pounds" which "provides total self-sufficiency for immediate mission response," said MDFR's website.

11:33 a.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Approximately 55 units in building impacted by collapse, according to Miami-Dade fire rescue

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

Approximately 55 units at the Champlain Towers South were impacted in Thursday morning’s catastrophic collapse in Surfside, Florida.

According to a series of tweets from Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue, the impacted units were in the northwest corridor of the building.

MDFR said they responded to reports of a building collapse at 1:30 a.m. ET and were able to rescue 35 people, 10 of whom were treated on-site. Two were transported to the hospital where one died.

MDFR said the building has 136 units and is 12 stories tall. 

“Search and rescue efforts are ongoing with Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue crews searching the building and the debris around the structure for any survivors,” MDFR said in a tweet Thursday.

11:23 a.m. ET, June 24, 2021

Witnesses say “everybody was screaming and panicking” as they tried to evacuate

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

Witnesses of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, which partially collapsed Thursday, said as they were trying to evacuate the adjacent building, “everybody was screaming and panicking.“ 

Aaron Miles, his girlfriend, and members of their family were staying next door at the Bluegreen resort which has been evacuated. He said, “once you got down to the lobby… it was filled with nothing but dust and debris." 

Abigail Crosby said they quickly grabbed the five children who were staying with them and evacuated, “whatever I had, I took.” 

We “got out as fast as we could,” Miles said. The group went downstairs to the parking garage basement where a valet let them out. 

Miles said that immediately following the collapse people were running around screaming.

“It was awful. Kids, grownups screaming. Women and children crying. It was probably one of the worst experiences I’ve ever witnessed in my life," Miles said.

The family, who is on vacation from Virginia, said everything seemed normal yesterday. 

Miles said, “yesterday, the building seemed normal and nothing seemed off, and then like I said we woke up and the building was just gone."

11:06 a.m. ET, June 24, 2021

A thunderstorm has paused rescue operations, county official says

Search and rescue personnel with a K9 unit work in the rubble of a 12-story residential tower that partially collapsed on June 24, in Surfside, Florida. 
Search and rescue personnel with a K9 unit work in the rubble of a 12-story residential tower that partially collapsed on June 24, in Surfside, Florida.  Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Crews on rescue and recovery operations at the partially collapsed building are "in pause mode because we have a thunderstorm that has managed to come ashore," Miami Dade County, Florida, Commissioner Sally Heyman tells CNN.

She said crews have completed searching and are now shifting to recovery efforts. She said fire rescue and first responders have gone entirely through the building that did not fall, and the part that was partially compromised.

10:54 a.m. ET, June 24, 2021

White House and FEMA are in contact with local officials after building collapse

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

The White House is monitoring the situation in Surfside, Florida, after part of a 12-story residential building collapsed early Thursday, killing at least one person and sparking an intense search and rescue effort, a White House official tells CNN. 

“The White House and FEMA are in contact with local officials to provide assistance if needed,” the official told CNN in a statement.

“Our hearts go out to the loved ones of those who lost their lives as a result of this terrible tragedy, and to the families who wait in anguish as search-and-rescue teams assess the situation. We send our gratitude to the heroic first responders working tirelessly to save lives this morning,” the official continued.

The White House would not say whether President Biden has been briefed on the collapse.